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#WeMakeEvents Day Of Action takes place tomorrow in a fight for the industry

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 10 August 2020, Last Updated 12 August 2020

The live events industry will be coming together tomorrow as part of the #WeMakeEvents London Red Alert Day, which calls on the government for urgent support to protect the industry from crumbling.

The event will begin on a boat at 8.30pm and will see hundreds of venues turning their lights red, along with other creative activities being staged in over 20 cities across the UK to symbolise the industry going into red alert. The boat will make its way down the Thames passing the Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre and the Tate, and more all illuminated red.

When the boat reaches other key locations, such as Westminster Bridge and Jubilee Bridge, hundreds of volunteers will symbolise the ‘throw us a line’ theme creatively with the final call to action taking centre stage on London’s South Bank.

This hugely important event aims to raise awareness for over a million professionals at risk of losing their jobs, 600,000 of whom deliver outdoor events, around 70 percent of the workforce are freelance. In addition, the closure of the self-employed income support scheme at the end of the month threatens their livelihood.

The socially distanced call to action will also shine a light on the collaborative nature of the industry, showcasing a creative experience and live displays containing messages from established figures. Platinum-selling artists Peter Gabriel, The Cure, and Imogen Heap are a few of the many voices giving their support to this cause, with others expected to join.

Peter Gabriel, singer, songwriter and activist, said: “The live events sector employs over 600,000 highly skilled people in the UK – event production, audio, lighting, video, logistics, planning, transportation, and technology – over 70 per cent of which are freelancers. All of whom have had no work for the past four months, with little likelihood of restarting until Spring 2021 at the earliest.”

Peter continues: “A lot of high arts have now been given some support, but people working on the festival side of things and in live events have been forgotten about, and I hope they are not forgotten about any longer. Around the UK they’ve created something which I think is the best in the world.”

“Many of these people are freelancers, so don’t fall under furlough schemes. So right now, they are feeling the pinch very badly and if we want live events and festivals to stay an important British business then it needs to be supported.”

Peter Heath, MD of PLASA, comments: “The live events industry supply chain, essential to every single event in the UK, is set to completely collapse without financial support from the government, due to social distancing prohibiting mass events. Large Scale events are not expected to reopen until Spring 2021 at the earliest, and the reality is that the sector can’t wait that long. We’ve issued a ‘Red Alert’ after using #WeMakeEvents because the sector is on its last legs, and now the whole industry is coming together to ask the government to ‘throw us a line.’”

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